Christiana Pace is a top motorsport consultant who has worked with the likes of the FIA and Williams F1 as well as leading the way for aspiring female engineers as a Dare to be Different STEM ambassador.
She was one of the first women to be actively involved in motorsport track side, as a performance engineer in GT and at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2002. She was also the first woman to work alongside the FIA technical department in F1 and has since worked closely on the supply of Formula E batteries with Williams Advanced Engineering, a division of Williams F1.
Inspired to focus on the future of sustainable motorsport, Christiana currently works as a PHD Researcher for Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society exploring electrification and hybridization in the racing industry.
As part of the official launch, Christiana hosted hands-on workshops throughout the day to introduce pupils to the exciting possibilities the workshop holds and delve into the fascinating world of engineering. With the help of the school’s STEM pupil ambassadors, girls aged 9 and 11 were challenged to create a fully functioning hovercraft from nothing more than a foam board, shower curtain and leaf blower.
She said: “I really enjoyed today and the girls were so enthusiastic about getting involved. I think it’s very important to teach girls from a very early age that they can build something quite complicated from completely ordinary objects and having a room where they can play around by building, breaking and repairing things is very special – I hope they all enjoy using it.”
Motorsport industry supporters, staff and school governor Mr Andrew Johnson joined the pupils to see the engineering workshop in action ahead of its official opening.
Mr Johnson said: “I am very pleased to see the facility being used to its full extent as it gives the girls a wonderful opportunity to find out more about something which could be very important to their careers. I was particularly impressed to see older girls taking the lead and teaching our younger pupils – it’s an excellent example to set for us all.”
The workshop will enable pupils at the school to learn and develop engineering skills from a very young age.
At Truro High, pupils learn the basics from 4 years old working with Beebot robots before progressing to construction sets. By the age of 7 they are building their own Greenpower Racing Gobin cars.
This September, the school will be launching its brand new Aspiring Engineers Programme. The bespoke programme offers the school’s pupils, interested in pursuing a career in engineering and furthering their knowledge of this industry, a tailored calendar of lectures, workshops, mentoring and one-to-one support to make their engineering aspirations a reality.